We know that pressure is a natural part of any working environment and its negative effects. Pressure creates stress, leads to hastily poorly-thought decisions, and overall impacts your work performance and health. And yet we all know workers who stay calm and unflappable as crises explode around them.
Those workers feel pressure just like you or me, but have ingrained mental habits which let them handle it better. Here are five tips to perform better in tense situations that are more useful than squeezing a stress ball.
One Task at a Time
You likely know that when confronted with a large task, you should break it down into smaller, more manageable pieces that you can handle in a reasonable timeframe. That is a good first step, but your next step must be to improve your focus. It does you no good to break up a large task if your mind is still focused on every smaller task. Instead, focus on the small task which is right in front of you, and get that done.
Brain scientists have observed for years that there is no such thing as multitasking, and trying to do so can kill your productivity. Complete one task at a time, rather than trying to do multiple jobs at once.
Have a Back-up Plan
If you are told not to think about the worst case result, you are going to think about the worst case result. Instead of trying to not think about something, it is better to use those thoughts productively.
Think about the worst case result and then let yourself plan what to do if that transpires. This has two main benefits. First, you will know what to do if that scenario transpires instead of creating the plan on the fly while you are likely panicking. Second, that worst case result no longer appears so terrifying once you develop a plan to deal with it which means less stress on your brain.
Communicate and Delegate
If you are working in a group project, you may be tempted to shoulder the responsibilities on yourself so that you know everything can be done to your standards. But, as many online study resources have revealed, you cannot do everything alone, and it is crucial to communicate and delegate so that burdens can be lifted off your shoulder.
Remember not to communicate not just with your partners, but with your superiors and clients. A major cause of pressure is that you may not be on the same page with important individuals in the insurance groups, and it is better to address that earlier than later.
Know your Limits
Pressure does not just lead to a bad project or presentation. Over a long period of time, high pressure can cause your mental health to fray and fall into burnout.
Psychology Today has a list of signs of growing burnout, and you must remember to take time to relax whenever possible. Even during busy moments at your workplace, try to find ten minutes to relax. Deep breathing, meditating, and light exercise can take your mind off the stresses of the day and put yourself in a better place.
It’s Okay to be Scared
Lessening stress is good, but sometimes people get angry at themselves for being stressed and thus only increase their stress. A certain level of pressure and stress is a regular part of the workplace and at times can be a good thing to spur you to work harder at your job.
If you feel slightly anxious or pressured by the day’s events, sometimes the best thing to do is to shrug and acknowledge that it is normal. By making small amounts of pressure feel normal, you can take your thoughts away from your inner turmoil and towards your important work.